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Today in Atlantic City Boxing History: Evander Holyfield vs Chris Byrd

Written by Rob Scott

Legends Come Together at Boardwalk Hall

Atlantic City – December 14, 2002 – On this date, Don King Productions, Caesars Atlantic City and AC’s Boardwalk Hall brought Evander Holyfield vs. Chris Byrd together in a battle for the Vacant IBF World Heavyweight Championship.

Holyfield vs. Byrd

Holyfield, a former four-time heavyweight champion, faced Byrd who himself once held the WBO version of the heavyweight crown.

A Unanimous Champion

After twelve rounds of boxing, Chris Byrd earned a unanimous decision win and became the new IBF Heavyweight Champion.

Rounding Out the Card

In another bout on the card, Lamon Brewster made a successful first defense of his NABO Heavyweight Championship against Tommy Martin with a third round TKO. The vacant WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight belt was also on the line in this contest.

In yet another heavyweight affair, Fres Oquendo scored an eleventh round TKO over George Arias for the vacant WBA Fedelatin heavyweight championship.

Four more bouts rounded out this night of boxing.

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is not liable for any errors or omissions in this information. Any opinions or inquiries that you may have you can forward them to Rob Scott at robscottxl@msn.com.

This Day in Atlantic City Boxing History: Evander Holyfield vs. Pinklon Thomas – December 9, 1988

Written by Rob Scott

Caesars Hosts The Real Deal

Atlantic City  –  On December 9, 1988, Main Events, Don King Promotions and Caesars Atlantic City brought heavyweight boxing to the Atlantic City Convention Center.

Holyfield vs. Thomas

The main event saw undisputed cruiserweight champion, Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, 19-0, 15KOs, squared off with former WBC Heavyweight Champion, Pinklon Thomas, 29-2-1, 24KOs, in a scheduled ten round heavyweight attraction.

New to His Class

Including his very last bout, against James Tillis five months earlier, this was only Holyfield’s second time as a heavyweight in his career.

The bout ended when Thomas’ corner, watching their fighter take punishment for seven round, refused to allow him to come out for the eighth.

A Legendary Heavyweight to Come

After the win, Holyfield vacated the Cruiserweight title to compete as a full-time heavyweight.

Also, Michael Dokes scored two eleventh round knockdowns en route to a unanimous twelve round decision to successfully make the first defense of his WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight title.

The wins by both Holyfield and Dokes would set up a meeting between the two in their very next bout.

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is not liable for any errors or omissions in this information. Any opinions or inquiries that you may have you can forward them to Rob Scott at robscottxl@msn.com.

This Day in Atlantic City Boxing History: Mike Tyson vs. Alex Stewart – “The Hard Way Back”

Written by Rob Scott

Don King’s Card Packs a Punch

Atlantic City – December 8, 1990 – On this night Don King Productions and Trump Plaza brought you an eight-bout boxing card named “The Hard Way Back” – Tyson vs. Stewart.

Tyson vs. Stewart

He’s Back

Coming off of a 1st round KO six months earlier over Henry Tilman, Mike Tyson looked to keep up his winning ways against the tough Alex Stewart.

It was Tyson’s second bout since his shock loss to Buster Douglas in Tokyo ten months earlier.

Tyson scored three knockdowns en route to a 1st round TKO at the 2:27 mark.

It was Tyson’s thirteenth appearance in an Atlantic City ring…and, unfortunately, his last.

More Names, More TKOs

Julio Caesar Chavez also made a defense of his WBC Super lightweight and IBF Jr. Welterweight titles against South Korean, Kyung-Duk Ahn.

Chavez scored two knockdowns in the second round and one in the third en route to a TKO victory at 2:14 of the third round.

Also, Julio Cesar Chavez successfully defended his IBF/WBC 140lb titles with a 3rd round TKO over Kyung-Duk Ahn

Donovan “Razor” Ruddock scored a 1st round KO of Mike Rouse

Simon Brown won with a 1st round TKO over Ozzie O’Neal

Tyrell Biggs registered a 10 round unanimous decision over Rodolfo Marin

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is not liable for any errors or omissions in this information. Any opinions or inquiries that you may have you can forward them to Rob Scott at robscottxl@msn.com.

This Day In Atlantic City Boxing History – Dick Tiger vs. Joey Giardello 3

Written by Rob Scott

 Atlantic City – On December 7, 1963, Lou Duva, Murray Goodman and Garden State Sports Corporation Inc. brought Dick Tiger vs. Joey Giardello to Convention Hall in Atlantic City for the WBA/WBC Middleweight Championships Of The World.

Third Time Around

This was the third meeting between the Nigerian born, Dick Tiger (47-17-3, 22KOs) and the Brooklyn born Philadelphia resident, Joey Giardello (91-23-8, 31KOs). Each scored unanimous decision victories over the other when they clashed in 1959, with Tiger winning the first meeting and Giardello scoring victory the second time around.

How Time Changes

The time frame since their 1959 clashes to their fast forwarded 1963 third meeting had brought changes in the careers of both fighters.

After his victory over Tiger in their second meeting, Giardello  challenged Gene Fullmer for his NBA World Middleweight championship five months later, but failed to bring home the belt after that war was declared a draw. Giardello fought seventeen times in all since his last win against Tiger, winning ten, drawing twice and losing five. Of those ten wins, one was a 10 round unanimous decision over an aging “Sugar” Ray Robinson. Giardello, the number three contender at the time, even floored the pound-for-pound great for a nine count in the fourth round of their bout.

Dick Tiger fought a total of fourteen times since his loss to Giardello, losing once, drawing once and winning twelve. Of those wins for Tiger, one was a challenge to Gene Fullmer for his WBA, Formerly NBA, Middleweight championship. Tiger walked away with the 15 round unanimous decision victory and the belt. In a return bout four months later, both Tiger and Fulmer fought to a draw. They fought a third bout almost six months after the second meeting, with Tiger’s WBA belt, along with the vacant newly formed WBC middleweight title on the line. Tiger was declared the TKO winner when Fulmer’s handlers asked for the bout to be stopped after the 7th round.

It turned out to be Fulmer’s last bout of his career, but it set up a third meeting for Dick Tiger and Joey Giardello which took place four months later.

 

Fight three in AC

In this third meeting,  Dick Tiger tried to be aggressive, swinging with knockout intentions, but Giardello fought a more controlled and calculated fight. The challenger used his legs well, moving around the ring often making Tiger miss with his hard blows. Giardello made his opponent pay for his over extension, countering the Nigerian native on many occasions.

No man was seriously hurt in the bout, but the Giardello’s style and effectiveness caught the eye referee, Paul Cavalier, who was the lone official scoring the bout. At the end of 15 rounds, Cavalier scored 8 round for Giardello, 5 rounds for Tiger and 2 rounds even.

With the scores, Giardello was declared the new WBA/WBC middleweight champion of the world to the delight of a roaring and supportive crowd.

One More Time

Dick Tiger and Joey Giardello did face one another twenty-two months later for yet a fourth and final time, with Tiger regaining the championship by unanimous decision in October of 1965.

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is not liable for any errors or omissions in this information. Any opinions or inquiries that you may have you can forward them to Rob Scott at robscottxl@msn.com.

This Day in Atlantic City Boxing History: Title Wave – Delahoya vs. Rivera, Norris vs. Mulling, and Marquez vs. Campas – December 6, 1997

Written by Rob Scott

Boardwalk Hall Takes on “Title Wave”

Atlantic City — December 6, 1997 — On this day in 1997, Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. along with Caesars Atlantic City, brought a huge boxing event to Boardwalk Hall. The show was dubbed as “Title Wave”  and produced three world title match-ups.

In the main event, four division world champion, “Goldenboy” Oscar Dela Hoya, made the third  defense of his WBC Welterweight championship against the determined Wilfredo Rivera of Puerto Rico.

Rivera and De La Hoya Face Off

Rivera sported a 27-2-1 (18kos) record, with his only losses coming from his two earlier bouts with Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker.

Delahoya Rivera Norris Mullings

On this night the speed of Dela Hoya was too much for Rivera, who was tenacious but over matched. A swift Dela Hoya left hook  opened a cut over the right eye of Rivera in the second round which started the challenger’s downward spiral.

Rivera Tries to Keep Up

A DeLa Hoya barrage of punches, capped off with a strong right hand, dropped Rivera to the canvas in the fourth round, but Rivera rose from the canvas after the referee’s count of six.

The right eye injury of Rivera became increasingly worse, and with blood flowing, the referee chose to stop the fight upon the recommendation of the ringside physician at the 2:48 mark in the eighth round.

It was Dela Hoya’s first appearance  as a fighter in Atlantic City, but unfortunately, it turned out to be the only time he had fought in an AC ring.

“Terrible” Terry Defends Against Keith Mullings

Also on the card, long time 154lb champion, “Terrible” Terry Norris, defended his WBC World Super welterweight championship against Brooklyn, New York’s own Keith Mullings.

Coming into the fight, Norris was coming off of six consecutive knockout victories. A victory over Mullings would have placed Norris in the position of landing a lucrative match-up with Oscar Dela Hoya in the very near future.

Not many people looked at Mullings as the fighter to derail Norris’ drive to Dela Hoya, with a record coming into the ring as having only won one bout in his last six outings.

But fortunately for Mullings, he gave himself a chance.

Mullings Pulls off the Unexpected

After taking Norris’ best through most of eight rounds, Mullings landed a blistering right hand at the :48 mark that dropped Norris and totally changed the tide of the fight.

Norris lasted the round, but never fully recovered, with Mullings picking up where he left off at the start of the ninth. The punishment mounted causing the referee to call a halt to the bout at the 0:51 mark of the ninth round and making Keith Mullings the new champion.

More Titles on the Line

Raul Marquez also put his IBF World Jr. Middleweight title on the line for the third time taking on the always tough Luis Ramon Campas.

In a heated battle, Campas broke down Marquez, swelling the defending champion’s right eye and left cheek, inhibiting his vision and making him susceptible to punishment.

After closely watching the action, the referee stepped in stopping the bout at the official mark of 2:29 of the eighth round, saving Marquez from further punishment.

The TKO victory made Yori Boy Campas the new IBF 154lb champion.

Rounding out the pay-per-view event

Future world champions, Vassiliy Jirov and Daniel Santos, came away winners in seperate bouts. Zahir Raheem and Eric “Butterbean” Esch also brought their brands of excitement with their wins on this evening.

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is not liable for any errors or omissions in this information. Any opinions or inquiries that you may have you can forward them to Rob Scott at robscottxl@msn.com.

This Day in Atlantic City Boxing History: the King Is Back – December 5, 1998

Written by Rob Scott

Four Years Too Many Without the King

Atlantic City — December 5, 1998 — On this date back in 1998, Don King Productions, along with Bally’s Park Place brought Atlantic City boxing fans an exciting twelve bout fight card that was appropriately called “The King is back.”

It was Don King’s return to town after a four-year hiatus and the very first boxing event at the brand new Atlantic City Convention Center.

A Chance to Walk Away as Champion

The card was headlined by three world title bouts and featured Albuquerque, New Mexico’s own, Johnny “Mi Vida Loca” Tapia who stepped up in weight to challenge the reigning WBA World Bantamweight champion in Nana Konadu of Ghana.

Tapia, a two-time world champ at the time, came to the ring as the current IBF World Jr. Bantamweight champion for this challenge, and after twelve rounds of boxing, walked away as a three-time world champion, winning a majority decision victory.

Page Fights Hard to Defend His Title

A co-feature of the evening saw James “Mighty Quinn” Page make the first defense of his WBA world welterweight championship against the very tough, Jose Luis Lopez.

Even with Lopez scoring a pair of knockdowns in rounds 3 & 9, Page fought long and hard enough to successfully defend his title with a unanimous decision win.

More Bouts to Remember

Richard Hall faced Anthony Bigeni for the vacant interim WBA light heavyweight championship, with Hall scoring a third round TKO also on this night.

Future world champion, Andrew “Six Heads” Lewis, also won on this evening, beating Teddy Reid for the WBA North American welterweight title.

It was the first and ultimately the last boxing card at the new convention center because of obstructed views, but regardless of that, on this evening, Atlantic City was shown that the King was indeed back.

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is not liable for any errors or omissions in this information. Any opinions or inquiries that you may have you can forward them to Rob Scott at robscottxl@msn.com.

This Day in Atlantic City Boxing History: Cotto vs. Quintana and Margarito vs. Clottey Welterweight Title Doubleheader

Written by Rob Scott

Bob Arum Brings Excitement to Boardwalk Hall

Cotto vs. Quintana and Margarito vs. Clottey

Atlantic City — December 2, 2006 — On this date, Caesars Atlantic City, along with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. brought an exciting night at the fights to Boardwalk Hall with a card headlined by two separate welterweight championship bouts.

Only One Remains Undefeated

In a battle of unbeaten Puerto Rican superstars, Miguel Cotto faced off with Carlos Quintana for the vacant WBA Welterweight championship.

Cotto, making his welterweight debut, walked away with the RTD win after scoring two knockdowns in the fifth round and Quintana refusing to come out for the sixth.

Margarito Puts Them up for Clottey

In the other co-feature, Mexico’s Antonio Margarito made the seventh successful defense of his WBO Welterweight title with a tough unanimous twelve round decision win over the talented Ghanaian native, Joshua Clottey.

The doubleheader was a precursor to boxing for years to come, with Cotto fighting and scoring a split decision win over Clottey in June of 2009, along with his action packed two fights with Antonio Margarito.

Those two wars ended with Margarito scoring an eleventh round TKO in July of 2008, but Cotto avenging that loss with a December 2011 stoppage in which the ringside physician refused to let Margarito come out for round nine because of a badly swollen eye.

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is not liable for any errors or omissions in this information. Any opinions or inquiries that you may have you can forward them to Rob Scott at robscottxl@msn.com.

This Day In Atlantic City Boxing History – George Foreman vs. Shannon Briggs

Written By Rob Scott

Atlantic City – On Saturday, November 22, 1997, Kathy Duva’s Main Events brought to Atlantic City’s Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino’s  Mark G. Etess Arena, “Big” George Foreman vs. Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs for the Lineal Heavyweight Championship of the world.

The Man Who Beat The Man

After his monumental November 1995 win over Michael Moorer to win the IBF, WBA and Lineal heavyweight titles, Foreman was subsequently stripped of recognition from the two major sanctioning bodies but maintained his lineal status. This meant that even though the IBF and WBA no longer recognized him as their champ, he was still the – Man who beat the man – because no one actually beat him in the ring to take those laurels.

Experience vs. Youth

It was the 48-year-old Foreman, 76-4, 68 KOs, looking to remain on top, versus the 25-year-old Briggs, 29-1, 24 KOs, attempting to become “The Man” or at least a very key player in the heavyweight picture.

In round one, Briggs threw his jab and used his legs to stay away from Foreman’s shots, but as early as the third round, started to show signs of fatigue. Foreman played the aggressor while Briggs fought in retreat for most the fight. The Brooklyn native did land his share of blows, but it was “Big George” who started landing big shots as the fight progressed. Foreman used his big jab and overhand right to help move an already retreating Briggs around the ring.

Briggs looked to make his 23-year age advantage work in his favor, but as the fight went on, experience and determination seemingly overshadowed youth.

Down the stretch, Foreman tried hard to score the knockout, even breaking Briggs’ nose in the last round, but Briggs persevered.

 

The Eyes Of The Judges

Ultimately, the fight went the distance and the decision was in the hands of the judges. The scores read 114-114 even on one card, while the other two cards read 113-117 and 112-116 in favor of Briggs. The decision was met with boos from the crowd with many thinking Foreman should have gotten the decision.

Controversy swirled for weeks afterward with calls for investigations into the decision being brought from not only Foreman and his handlers, but also from people like Senator John McCain.  But in the end, Briggs still was the split decision winner and new lineal champion.

Briggs’ victory landed him a shot at Lennox Lewis’ WBC crown, being floored three times and ultimately being stopped by 5th round TKO.

After a proposed fight with Larry Holmes fell through, the Briggs fight would turn out to be Foreman’s last bout.

The Undercard

On the undercard, up and coming star, Fernando Vargas, improved his record to 8-0, 8KOs, with a first-round TKO over Jose Miguel Fernandez.

1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, David Reid, scored a 5th round TKO over Dan Connolly, boosting his record to 6-0, 5 KOs.

David Tua rebounded from his 12 round unanimous decision loss to Ike Ibeabuchi five months earlier with a 2nd round TKO over Jeff Lally, improving his record to 28-1, 24 KOs.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is not liable for any errors or omissions in this information. Any opinions or inquiries that you may have you can forward them to Rob Scott at robscottxl@msn.com.

On this day In Atlantic City Boxing History – Dwight Muhammad Qawi vs. Eddie Davis

 

Written By: Rob Scott

Atlantic City – On November 20, 1982, Main Events brought another night of championship boxing to Atlantic City’s Convention Hall.  The fight card was labeled, “Blockbuster On The Boardwalk” and was headlined by the “Camden Buzzsaw,” Dwight Muhammad Qawi, 18-1-1 (11KOs), making a defense of his WBC Light heavyweight title against the challenge of reigning USBA Light heavyweight champion/WBC #2 contender, Eddie Davis, 23-2-1 (15KOs).  The bout was scheduled for 15 rounds.

Fight before the fight

With a unification clash looming against undefeated reigning WBA Light heavyweight champion, Michael Spinks, Qawi looked to get by Davis’ challenge to make way for that much-anticipated unification bout.

After a feeling out process from both, it initially looked to be a short night for Qawi after he dropped Davis with a combination with forty seconds left in the first round.  After getting up off of the canvas and answering referee Tony Perez’s questions, Davis survived Qawi’s onslaught for the remainder of the round, stumbling to his corner as the bell sounded. Had it been a lesser experienced referee, the bout could have been stopped then, but Referee Perez let the fight go on.

Tougher than expected

Qawi stayed on his opponent, but the challenger wouldn’t fall, with Davis often coming back with his own noted offense. Even with a cut opened over his left eye, Davis still didn’t allow that to be a deterrent.  In fact, Qawi himself began to bleed from his nose as Davis tried his best to give as much as he received.

Under The Weather, But Still On Top

Qawi was visibly not himself, fighting at a slower pace than what fight fans were accustomed to seeing from him.

Davis definitely put on a game showing in the eighth and ninth rounds, with Qawi explaining his slower performance as being a result of an earlier illness and personal problems.  Even with those setbacks, this version of the “Camden Buzzsaw” was still enough to eventually stop Davis’ game effort, punishing him in the tenth and flooring him seconds into the eleventh. When Davis picked himself up off the canvas this time, referee Tony Perez examined the fighter, prompting him to call a halt to  the bout after only twenty-eight seconds into the round.

Setting The Stage

With Michael Spinks in attendance, tensions were in the air, but the stage was now officially set for both he and Qawi to finally meet in their WBA/WBC Light heavyweight unification.

Featured undercard
On the undercard, future AC Hall Of Famer, Bobby Czyz 20-0 (15kos), suffered the first defeat of his career, losing a 10 round unanimous decision to former middleweight title challenger, Mustafa Hamsho 34-2-2 (21kos).

Also on the card was the undefeated Tony Ayala Jr. 21-0 (18kos), scoring a 3rd round KO over Carlos Herrera 47-6 (32kos).

 

 

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is not liable for any errors or omissions in this information. Any opinions or inquiries that you may have you can forward them to Rob Scott at robscottxl@msn.com.

 

 

This Day In Atlantic City Boxing History – Sergio Martinez vs. Paul Williams 2

Written by Rob Scott

Atlantic City – On November 20, 2010, Goossen Tutor Promotions, along with DiBella Entertainment joined forces to bring Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez vs. Paul “Punisher” Williams II – The Explosive Rematch, to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.

Like facing Like

When Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez clashed in December 2009, the scene was different. Paul Williams put the word out that he would fight everyone from welterweight up through middleweight. After having a middleweight title opportunity fallout twice because of a recurring staph infection suffered by then-champion, Kelly Pavlik, Williams continued looking for challenges. Unfortunately, with his reputation of volume punching, tall lanky stature, and a decent chin, his phone wasn’t ringing off the hook from boxing’s best.

Sergio Martinez was relatively in the same boat as Williams, finding it harder than it should be to find willing opponents. Needing opponents, the avoided faced the avoided in what turned out to be one of the most entertaining fights of the year. True to his word, Williams, who fluctuated in fighting weights, accepted an opportunity to face Martinez, who was the reigning 154lb champ, at a catch weight.

Both scoring knockdowns in the first round and throwing non-stop punches throughout, each lived up to their reputations of bringing their best and leaving their all on the table. When it was all over, Williams was declared the winner by majority decision in a fight that could have gone either way.

What A Difference A Year Makes

In the months since their first bout, significant changes took place. Williams was initially on the shelf healing from a cut he received in his first bout with Martinez. That setback opened the door for Martinez to step in and step up to challenge middleweight champ, Kelly Pavlik, who was given the green light to return after his staph infection issues. Martinez made the best of his opportunity by beating Pavlik at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City in an exciting fight that saw the defending champ bloody and outgunned.

Sergio Martinez was now the new middleweight champion of the world and ready for another challenge. Williams faced Kermit Cintron upon his return, winning a 4th round technical decision after the bout had to be halted because of an injury suffered by Cintron when he fell through the ropes. After the win, Williams was ready to finally get his shot at the middleweight crown.

Just over eleven months after Martinez and Williams faced one another in the smaller Adrian Phillips Theater within Boardwalk Hall, the main arena played host to this anticipated rematch. Clearing up the controversy of who was the better man was an opportunity that each looked forward to.

As Good As The First

When it comes to boxing, let’s face it, sequels don’t always live up to the hype and actual substance of the original. Granted, there have been some rematches that have been so good, even a third match-up is yearned for and even warranted. Then there are those rematches that have left audiences feeling upset, as if the promoters pulled a proverbial bait and switch maneuver, definitely not giving what was advertised.

With the punch-output, heart and determination that these two have shown, not only against one another, but each and every night out, it was so hard to believe that this rematch wouldn’t live up to the hype.

From the opening bell, these two fighters looked to pick up where they left off from their first meeting. Both Williams, 39-1 (27kos), and Martinez, 45-2-2(24kos), started throwing bombs from the offset to the delight of the screaming fans in attendance. At the end of the first round, we all knew we were watching something that would be as special as the first.

Short But Sweet

Martinez’s strategy of smothering Williams and matching him punch-for-punch was a decent tactic, but after the bell rang to start the second round, the defending champion made the subtle change of periodically stepping back. It allowed him to in turn, not smother his own punches.

With Williams in pursuit and looking to land, Martinez started to land with his overhand left. After an exchange, Martinez found room, stepped back and landed a left at the2:03 mark that brought everyone in Boardwalk Hall to their feet, but dropped Williams for a count that could have gone well past ten.

The shot was one heard around the boxing world, garnering knockout of the year honors for 2010.

On this night, both Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams made history…Atlantic City History.

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is not liable for any errors or omissions in this information. Any opinions or inquiries that you may have you can forward them to Rob Scott at robscottxl@msn.com.